I went to the SCCA superschool with my first "racing car" in June 2000. The
car was my 1985 Mazda RX7 "Spec 7". The great thing about the rotary and the
RX7 in general is that they need so little maintenance. You can also
over-rev them with quasi total impunity!.. As a total rookie(and an old
guy!) with limited skills, I did not want an open car- they are all much
faster than my Spec 7, even the underpowered Formula Vees- or a very fast
My second "racing car" has been the Sprite - more fun for me to drive than
the Mazda, but more expensive to race- lots more maintenance than the Mazda,
and I can't go to the scrapyard to get parts!.. but,oh boy, it looks and
sounds and feels so good!
The Mazda is slower than the Sprite (same horsepower, more weight), but
still fun - and a very good choice for a first (or last!) racing car... They
kept telling us at the racing school: "Don't buy a racing car and race if
you are not ready to write it off anytime"... In other words, s**t
happens... I just bought another Mazda RX Spec 7- I paid $2,800 for it, and
I think I could have got it for less... don't know why I bought it, I
already don't have the time to race the two cars I have!... I must change
the seat (I am unusually small), but the car is otherwise ready for racing,
and it's faster than my other RX7...
The Bugeye cost me $10,000, and by all accounts that was a good price (I saw
a car very similar to mine for sale at $20,000)...I have bills from the PO
for $22,000 from 1997 to 1999, $10,000 alone in engine parts (mostly from
Minimania)... So I paid for the engine and got the car free! 8-) I race the
Sprite with VARA though, and vintage racing is not the same as SCCA wheel to
wheel racing... they don't nickname Spec 7 or Pro 7 racing "bumper car
racing" for nothing! You would think some of these club racers in SCCA race
for serious money!.. I found VARA racing more relaxed, and yes, more fun.
Even though vintage racing cars often go faster now around the track than
they did in their heyday, I do take vintage racing as more of a "speed show"
than racing in the SCCA manner. I don't think anyone in VARA (except may be
some of the regular pole finishers) care where they finish- I sure don't! I
am just happy to dice with whomever is around me!
Jacques Le Clainche
2001 Boxster S- toy
2000 Astro Van- support vehicle and wife's car
1998 Ford Expedition- towing vehicle
1985 Mazda RX7- road racing
1981 Mazda RX7- road racing
1960 Austin Healey "Bugeye" Sprite- Vintage road racing